Liebknecht-Ryss, Sophia

BORN 18 Jan 1884, Rostov-on-Don, Rostov - DIED 11 Nov 1964, Moscow
BIRTH NAME Ryss, Sonja Borissowma
GRAVE LOCATION Berlin: Städtischer Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde, Gudrunstrasse, Lichtenberg (Pergolenweg)

Sophia Ryss was the daughter of the Jewish merchant Boris Ryss. She was educated in Rostow and Lausanne before she attented the universities in Berlin and Heidelberg, where she studied history and art history. In 1909 she was promoted magna cum laude with her doctorate entitled "Maria Magdalena in der toskanischen Malerei des Trecento". Afterwards she worked at the Kunsthalle Mannheim and at the Volksuniversität Wien as a teacher.

She met Karl Liebknecht in 1906 and possibly they had a love affair. After Karl's wife Julia died in 1911. They married in 1912 and she became stepmother to his three children. She was a member of the SPD but in 1918 she joined the KPD that was founded by her husband. After Karl was murdered in 1919 she worked at the Soviet Embassy in Berlin. When te nazis came to power she left Germany for London and moved to the USSR in 1934. She lived in Moscow for the rest of her life, working as a German teacher.

After her death in 1964 her urn was transferred to Berlin and buried at the Städtischer Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde. Her stepsons Robert and Wilhelm were buried in the same grave.

• Husband: Liebknecht, Karl (1912-1919)

Related persons
• was step-parent of Liebknecht, Robert
• was a friend of Luxemburg, Rosa
• corresponded with Luxemburg, Rosa


The grave of Sophie, Wilhelm, Robert and Hertha Liebknecht at the Städtischer Zentralfriedhof Friedrichsfelde, Berlin.
Picture by Androom (14 Nov 2004)


• Hoffmann, Joachim, Berlin Friedrichsfelde, Ein Deutscher Nationalfriedhof, Das Neue Berlin, Berlin, 2001
Sophie Liebknecht – Wikipedia

Lieck, Walther

Published: 26 Mar 2023
Last update: 26 Mar 2023